hit and run

Driver Flees After Striking 2 Bicyclists, Killing 1

Police Monday sought a hit-and-run motorist responsible for killing a bicyclist who tried to prevent an SUV from leaving the scene of a crash that slightly injured another bicyclist.

Authorities withheld the name of the fatally injured 51-year-old Los Angeles man, pending notification of his relatives.

A witness called police at 1:20 a.m. to report that a vehicle had hit a pedestrian at Long Beach Boulevard and Bort Street, Long Beach Police Lt. John Kanaley said.

"When officers arrived on scene, they discovered a male ... lying on the southwest corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Bort Street," a police statement said. "They also discovered an abandoned 2000 Ford Expedition on the west service road of Long Beach Boulevard and West Adams Street.''

Paramedics pronounced the injured man dead at the scene.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that prior to the accident at Long Beach Boulevard and Bort Street, the 2000 Ford Expedition was involved in another accident involving a bicyclist at Long Beach Boulevard and the westbound Artesia (91) Freeway off-ramp," police said.

"A witness who was also riding with the victim at that accident was trying to prevent the driver from fleeing the scene and jumped on the driver's side running board of the vehicle and was reaching through the driver's side window to turn off the (SUV's) ignition, when the driver took off southbound Long Beach Boulevard," police said.

The driver turned "at a high rate of speed" at Bort Street and the man fell off and hit his head on the curb, police said.

"The driver then parked his vehicle in the middle of the service road on Long Beach Boulevard and West Adams Street and fled the scene on foot," police said.

The other bicyclist was treated at the scene of the original accident and released.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call police Detective Brian Watt at (562) 570-7355, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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